Invitations of Wisdom and of Folly (9:1–18)
10–12 These verses summarize the central teachings of the first nine chapters of Proverbs. The fear of the LORD (verse 10) is the foundation of all wisdom, knowledge, and RIGHTEOUSNESS (see Proverbs 1:7 and comment); without a personal knowledge of the Holy One—God—there can be no true wisdom or understanding (verse 10). The wise will have years added to their lives (see Proverbs 3:2), and they will receive wisdom’s reward (verse 12): riches, honor, peace, life, health, and the favor of God (see Proverbs 3:16–18; 4:22; 8:35).
13–18 In these final verses, we are introduced to the woman Folly. She begins her invitation to the simple with the same words that Lady Wisdom used (see verses 4,15). This is part of her deception: she pretends to be wise;42 in the same way, SATAN pretends to be an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). But the banquet that Folly has prepared is very different from Wisdom’s banquet. Her food and drink are enticements to sin. Stolen water and food eaten in secret represent unlawful sex and other evil activities (verse 17). Those who eat at Folly’s banquet join her guests in the depths of the grave (verse 18).
Those are the two choices set before every man and woman: the banquet of life or the banquet of death. God says: Now choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19). The only way to avoid being deceived by Folly is to choose to follow Wisdom (Proverbs 2:12,16,20). Let no one delay in making this choice. Today, if you hear his voice—Wisdom’s voice, Christ’s voice—do not harden your hearts (Psalm 95:7–8; Hebrews 3:7–8).